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iPod nano owners sue Apple over screen issues

post #1 of 208
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Consumers upset about their iPod nano screen becoming easily scratched or marred have filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple Computer, demanding their money back plus a share of the companys profits.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California in San Jose on Wednesday, will bring before the courts the same complaints recently voiced by nano adopters on websites and online message boards.

According to the Red Herring, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of nano owner Jason Tomczak and others who have purchased the relatively new device. The lawsuit alleges Tomczak rubbed a paper towel on the face of his nano and that alone left significant scratches.

In the suit, lawyers for the plaintiffs charge that screens on the nano scratch excessively during normal usage, rendering the screen on the Nanos unreadable, and violating state consumer protection statutes [...] and causing Plaintiff class members to incur loss of use and monetary damages.

The suit goes on to allege that the player's screen "scratches so excessively that the items shown on the screen can no longer be viewed by the user. In fact, if users were to put their nanos in their pockets with common items such as coins, keys, a money clip, a credit card, or even the earphones that accompany the nano, the devices would likely scratch so badly that viewing the screens would be extremely difficult, if not impossible."

Tomczak and class action members are being represented by law firms Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro and David P. Meyer & Associates.

The lawsuit follows an abundance of nano complaints around the Web, media reports about its increased susceptibility to scratches, and Apple's own acknowledgment of an LCD flaw with a small number of the players.

Last month, scratching issues related to the nano spurred a flurry of first-hand reports from disgruntled customers and also fueled the creation of websites like www.flawedmusicplayer.com, which urged Apple recall the product.

Apple responded by acknowledging a "vendor quality problem in a small number of units" that could cause the nano's LCD screen to fail or crack, but downplayed concerns that the screen was more prone to scratches than previous iPod models.

"A few vocal customers are saying that their iPod nano is more susceptible to scratching than prior iPods. We have received very few calls from customers reporting this problem, and do not believe this is a widespread issue," the company said.

Apple added: "The iPod nano is made with the same high-quality polycarbonate plastic as the fourth-generation iPod. We suggest concerned customers use one of the iPod nano cases that are coming to market to protect the music player."

In the 31-page suit obtained by AppleInsider, Tomczak and his lawyers oppose Apple's response, arguing: "Although it was clear that the nano was defective, with the fierce competition in the digital music industry, Apple decided not to delay the release of the Nano, but to pass off the cost of replacing the defective product along to class members."

"Moreover," the plaintiffs said, "rather than admit the design flaw when consumers began to express widespread complaints about the screen's propensity to scratch easily and excessively, Apple concealed the defect and advised class members that they would need to purchase additional equipment to prevent the screen from scratching excessively."

The plaintiffs are asking for a trial by jury. They seek damages including reimbursement for the cost of the nanos, statutory and punitive damages, and attorneys' fees. They are also asking for a share of the "unlawful or illegal profits" Apple has made from sales of the players.

Apple introduced the iPod nano on September 6th and has since sold over 1 million of the players. However, recent analysis suggest Apple is gearing up to sell as many as 10 million nanos in the three-month period ending December 31st.
post #2 of 208


Didn't we have several cases like this before?
post #3 of 208
Does anyone have photos of the scuffed devices? Of all the stories I've seen, with all the posts and claims made, I have yet to see a photo of the damage. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, but I'd like to see what it does look like, not someone's written or verbal description of the problem.

If they get money back from Apple, I don't see why they'd get more than that other than to cover legal expenses. A share of the company's profits are already in the sale price of the nano, plus some if the device was bought through a third party.
post #4 of 208
God Bless America
post #5 of 208
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider

[...]demanding their money back plus a share of the companys profits

[...]

Tomczak rubbed a paper towel on the face of his nano and that alone left significant scratches.

[...]

In fact, if users were to put their nanos in their pockets with common items such as coins, keys, a money clip, a credit card, or even the earphones that accompany the nano, the devices would likely scratch so badly that viewing the screens would be extremely difficult, if not impossible."[...]

I dislike Apple, the company, as much as the next guy. But these people should have their assses handed to themselves. Why not just stick with the truth instead of exaggerating and claim a replacement insted of this junk?
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post #6 of 208
Sorry folks. As much as I hate to admit it ..it's totally true.

I went into the Apple Store with my gf not long after the Nano was out. Every single floor model was scratched to a point were legibility was hampered.

I will not buy a Nano because of this and I'll be watching to make sure the issue doesn't affect the larger iPod either.

Apple has laid another PR turd here and frankly I think they should lose the class action lawsuite. It's reasonable to expect a certain amount of durability in a portable product. The Nano does not have that durability IMO.
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post #7 of 208
Damn, my Honda has scratches. Perhaps I should sue them for a new Civic, huh?

F-ing ridiculous.
post #8 of 208
Somebody should sue apple for releasing those F-ing ridiculous powerbooks
post #9 of 208
What gives them the right to demand a share of the profits? That alone just proves the motive.

Let's say that they were illegally gained profits, why should these people have a share? That's the pot calling the kettle black. If I bought one and so did James, but James gets a refund plus cash from Apple, aren't I going to be annoyed that I just gave a load of money to James? What did James do to deserve that money? I'd rather it was kept by the court and given back to me as a refund.

James is basically saying "I'm not happy with this, you took my money for an inferior product. Therefore I'd like my money back, and I'd like to take someone else's money for the hassle it caused me. Sod them, I'm more important."

Matt
post #10 of 208
Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Moscow
Somebody should sue apple for releasing those F-ing ridiculous powerbooks

If they had released anything better someone would dig up 100 recent PB buyers and made a class action against Apple over the resell value of their machines.
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post #11 of 208
It's true! Not only are nanos susceptible to being shoved in a coin & key filled pocket and sat on, but aluminum PowerBooks are susceptible to damage from nails that are pounded clear through the case, and I have noticed that Apple's install DVDs are much more flammable than their competitors'. For shame.
post #12 of 208
Hmm.. rather than taking half an hour and a $20 bill to buy a PDA style screen protector, I'll just get an attorney and spend months in a law suit.

"Oh my god... The flaw in my totally unnecessary luxury item has caused me so much woe and grief. I had to take out two loans to buy this music player and now it's hard to read. My life as I knew it is over. Damn you Apple! Damn your corporate greed and what it's done to my life! I must be compensated!

and a thousand times
post #13 of 208
My new Nokia phone's screen is already all scratched up after just a few weeks use. I want my money back and I want part of Nokia's profits!

Oh and my old Nokia phone, after I had it for a few months dust got behind the screen, and it was very hard to make out the text. I want my money back for that one too!

Get real folks, if you don't want it to be scratched, put it in a case. Take my Palm Tungsten T3 for example. It's important to me, so I put it in a case, and it doesn't get scratched that way. If I just dumped it in my pocket, it sure would.
post #14 of 208
wow-
the most riduculus thing that i've heard in a while. How do they expect their money back PLUS a cut of Nano profits. WTF is that about? How do they expect to get a cut of Nano profits?

{The suit goes on to allege that the player's screen "scratches so excessively that the items shown on the screen can no longer be viewed by the user. In fact, if users were to put their nanos in their pockets with common items such as coins, keys, a money clip, a credit card, or even the earphones that accompany the nano, the devices would likely scratch so badly that viewing the screens would be extremely difficult, if not impossible."}

Who in their correctly sane mind would put an unprotected iPod in a pocket with coins and keys?

didn't your mommy teach you that if you want to keep your toys, you had to take care of them. Mr. Tomczak should be arrested and convicted of iPod abuse.
post #15 of 208
"The lawsuit alleges Tomczak rubbed a paper towel on the face of his nano and that alone left significant scratches."

That explains why it's scratched! Case closed.
post #16 of 208
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
The lawsuit alleges Tomczak rubbed a paper towel on the face of his nano and that alone left significant scratches.

I hope this shit for brains doesnt have eye glasses...you do NOT use paper towels or any wood-baced product to clean clear polimers...you use microfiber cloth, anyone who has bought eyeglasses with advanced plastic lenses in the last ~4 years knows that!(I have been using microfiber for ~10 years!) it aint rocket science!


Wanna polish/buff the iPod? use microfiber
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post #17 of 208
Quote:
Originally posted by JeffDM
Does anyone have photos of the scuffed devices? Of all the stories I've seen, with all the posts and claims made, I have yet to see a photo of the damage.

Open your eyes, man.

This is the mini that spent the entire keynote in Steve's pocket.



--B
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post #18 of 208
Quote:
The lawsuit alleges Tomczak rubbed a paper towel on the face of his nano and that alone left significant scratches.

wow what an idiot. maybe someone should inform this retard that lcd screens are usually made of polycarbonate... and even the strongest polycarbonate, take glasses for example, are VERY susceptable to being scratched from wood fiber. furthermore just because paper towels sometimes seem very soft, they usually have at least some wood fibers... i guess when i scratch my glasses with a paper towel, rather than trying to get lens crafters to replace them under warranty (which they wont btw) i should just sue them... goodluck with your lawsuit, unfortnately you cant sue for not understanding how things work. Hey Jason, next time try using something soft, light and cotton, like your brain for example :-)
post #19 of 208
It's just plastic casing, obviously softer than a regular LCD screen. Not obvious of course, if you bought it sight unseen, so I feel a little sorry for those who didn't go to there local store and beat up the store model. Has anyone seen the new video ipod?

The first thing I do when I get anything with an LCD screen is cover it. You can spend $5 for a PDA screen protector,
or the next time you buy an electronic devices of any kind save the sticky plastic film protector and cut sheets out to protect all your toys.
I was happily living off the sheet of plastic on the side of my G4 for years, keeping my min ipod (click wheel too), camera, phone and palm coddled like babies.
I just unwrapped a bunch of keyboards and saved the plastic for...
my new Nano. I'll wrap it lengthwise, tape it in the back and enjoy my lighter than air new toy.

(Funny I'm readingh this article exactly ONE minute after deciding to buy the Nano. I was going for the video iPod, but decided on a Palm TX instead. I called Palm and asked them to please get on the horn to Steve so I can watch Lost on my TX. Jeeze it's tiny!).

Can I sue because I think the skinny format is going to cause Blackberry Thumb syndrome? THAT is my reservation over the new design.
post #20 of 208
Quote:
Originally posted by bergz
Open your eyes, man.

This is the mini that spent the entire keynote in Steve's pocket.

(image)

--B

Try adding some white blurring to the screen. Scratches scatter light, not refract it.
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post #21 of 208
You all are being silly and unrealistic. The facts are the Nano is a portable device that will indeed be put into pockets and bookbags and whatnot.

The reality is it scratches far too easy. I've seen it with my own eyes. It mars bad enough to obscure the screen.

Asking for a portion of the profits is frankly ridiculous but lawyers will always ask for the moon and hope to get close.

Apple should have spent the extra money on higher quality plastic. Looking at the bill of goods thread they are making excellent margin. They did'nt have to take the uncessary risk and use cheaper plastic.
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post #22 of 208
It is a classic case of duche bag sues deep pocket looking for a fast pay day.

But then the lawyers make it a class action, they get a fat paycheck and the class members get a $2 cupon to the iTms...happens all the time to other companies the same way.

Class action reform is needed now, its purpose has been soarly abused by fucktard lawyers! (pardon the redundency)
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post #23 of 208
I saw this coming when the first widespread cases of scratching occurred. I think if it is indeed trial by jury, Apple is going to lose.

As for the case itself, I don't think suing because of the scratches is wrong, but I think wanting a cut out of the nano's profits is very unrealistic and isn't going to happen.

In the very end, I hope it means a free case like the one that came with the iPod video or something like that.
post #24 of 208
Quote:
if users were to put their nanos in their pockets with common items such as coins, keys, a money clip, a credit card

find me anything with a screen tat doesnt scratch when you stick it in your pocket with sharp and blunt metal items....
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post #25 of 208
Quote:
Originally posted by revs
find me anything with a screen tat doesnt scratch when you stick it in your pocket with sharp and blunt metal items....

I think this is an excellent point.

I plan to use thin sheets if I ever get a nano, sheets of what, I don't know. I have a pack of Fellowes WriteRight PDA screen protectors that might cover the entire front.

Personally, I hadn't seen any nanos in the store with unreadable screens, they have minor scratches, but nothing that hindered my ability to see the screen in full detail.

I think it was JVC that supposedly has an outstanding scratch protector coating for plastic, I'd like to see portable devices use that.
post #26 of 208
I've had mine for a month and no noticeable scratches so far. I don't put it in my pant's pocket though. I put it in my shirt pocket. Why on earth would I put it somewhere that a bunch of metal objects are just waiting to chew it up.

As for the materials it made of, it seems to be the same exact plastic my 30GB iPod is made of so I see no real problem.

ps - I cut up a PDA screen protector to put over the screen of the nano but it has too many bubbles for my liking so I've been using it without the screen protector.
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post #27 of 208
Quote:
rendering the screen on the Nanos unreadable

These people's illiteracy is not Apple's fault! Perhaps these dumb bastards ought to sue their parents or their former teachers for letting them out of the school system without being able to read.
post #28 of 208
I agree this is a bit silly.

I have a Treo 650. The very first thing I did to after taking it out of the box was apply a screen protector. It's a fragile electronic device, not a rock or a block of wood.

Apple should (if they don't already) ship it with a basic plastic screen protector.

The only problem I can see pursuable by a court of law is the case of the screen actually cracking with normal usage. If you've got something with a delicate LCD screen rattling around in your pocket along with your keys and other garbage, then you should take a few seconds to pause and reflect upon your actions.

Yet another frivolous lawsuit. Meanwhile, we continue to fight a war in another country under false pretenses. :P
post #29 of 208
I found a human finger in my nano.
post #30 of 208
Quote:
Originally posted by revs
find me anything with a screen tat doesnt scratch when you stick it in your pocket with sharp and blunt metal items....

That's rather obvious but what's happening is that even a person's cotton clothing is scratching the surface. There have been too numerous complaints about the scratched up Nanos to write this off as an isolated incident.

Consumers have the right to petition the governement for a redress whether it be frivolous or not.
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post #31 of 208
The class action IS stupid but then I kind of agree with the complaint. The Nano is a pretty piece of design aesthetically but design is more than just looks and for something that has to go in your pocket the materials used and design are just unsuitable.

The screen needs protection. That's an obvious requirement and should be accommodated in the design, not after the fact with 3rd party cases and clear film.

I've not seen the scratches personally but I'm not surprised. My iBook scratches really easy too. Polycarbonate is just too soft. I don't know what the difference is between my Sony Ericsson T610 and the iBook materials wise but I've had that phone for 3 years+ and it's got almost no scratches on it despite it being chucked in bags, in my pocket, the bottom of a bag whilst mountain biking or rolling around the dash in the car. SE can do it, why not Apple? For that matter, my lenses on my glasses don't scratch that easily either.

So, I still think there's something in the complaints, regardless of the stupid lawsuits.
post #32 of 208
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
That's rather obvious but what's happening is that even a person's cotton clothing is scratching the surface. There have been too numerous complaints about the scratched up Nanos to write this off as an isolated incident.

Consumers have the right to petition the governement for a redress whether it be frivolous or not.

I disagree, the cotton is most likely not the culprit, but the grit, and debris that gets caught in there. (in addition to whatever other seeming inoocent objects the people have in there)

ps - I've got an old iBook (the icebook not thee opaque one) and 2 iPods. All of them see regular use and are a few yers old. They have some scratches but nothing as severe as the ones some people claim they've gotten from "normal" use and storage. I'm a bit surprised at how some poeple treat their stuff...
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post #33 of 208
I like how they cite the screen cracking issue (which is something Apple should completely be held accountable for). Sure, it's a completely unrelated issue, but who cares!?

Then again, I have a Sony Ericsson T610 phone which I have been keeping in my pockets for two years. It has a few scratches, but nothing nearly as bad as what I've seen on iPods (I've had a 1st, 3rd and now 4th gen). There are clear coatings out there that are insanely durable, but for whatever unknown reason, Apple doesn't use them.

If you think polycarbonate is scratch-resistant, take a look at the security glass at a convenience store in a bad neighborhood some time.

No skin off my back, though, my friend gave me one of the socks he bought and, so far, no scratches on my 4G.
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post #34 of 208
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
I found a human finger in my nano.

only in the good ol' US of A!
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post #35 of 208
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
I found a human finger in my nano.

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post #36 of 208
While I would like to defend Apple, I will not. On the other hand these people are asking a bit much. If they still like their iPod on principle then should ask Apple to exchange their iPod nanos, along with making a slip cover standard, as they now have with new iPod video. Remember that if the suit is to outrageous then it is more likely to fail. I reckon that the 'share of the profits' element is to pay for lawyer's fees, so that the plaintiffs don't have to shell out themselves.

I put my cell phone in my pocket all the time, yes it does scratch, but not to the extent of making these screen unreadable. This shows a lack of testing of the durability, based on the use of the product. The Ars Technica tests of the iPod nano showed that it stood up to the most severe tests, but what this shows is that normal uses cause more issues. Apple should either change the plastic used, so that when it does scratch (since they will) they aren't so noticeable or provide a slip case standard.

I will that I bought a cover for my iPod, but then again it was more because I hold more value to it that my cell phone.
post #37 of 208
Quote:
Originally posted by BRussell
I found a human finger in my nano.

And we all know how that ended.

[BAD TASTE WARNING]

If you are right, taking the size of the Nano into account, Apple is also breaking the laws against embryo research.

[/BAD TASTE WARNING]
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post #38 of 208
Unless Apple claims that it is scratch resistant or that is doesn't scratch, they don't have a case. It's all user fault. Plus the Nano comes with a protective plastic film.
When you are the size of Apple, things like this will happen. People in the U.S. will sue for anything they can. Sad.
post #39 of 208
I just cannot understand how, if the nanos use the same plastics as the 4Gs AND we've never heard about scratch problems on the 4Gs how this could possibly be a legitimate problem nano-wide. Maybe in the process of making the plastics some didn't cure correctly or something, but I want to see one of these unreadable iPod nanos. I want to see it in person or a very good picture with the backlight on of this undreadable nano. I'd imagine you'd need SIGNIFICANT damage to the screen to make it unreadable. If you manage to scratch it that badly, maybe you need to re-evaluate how you use your nano?

All comments from hmuchison considered and other complaints duly noted, I just don't see how this is as big of a problem or significant amount of damage as the lawsuit has made it out to be.
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post #40 of 208
Quote:
Originally posted by hmurchison
You all are being silly and unrealistic. The facts are the Nano is a portable device that will indeed be put into pockets and bookbags and whatnot.

The reality is it scratches far too easy. I've seen it with my own eyes. It mars bad enough to obscure the screen.

Asking for a portion of the profits is frankly ridiculous but lawyers will always ask for the moon and hope to get close.

Apple should have spent the extra money on higher quality plastic. Looking at the bill of goods thread they are making excellent margin. They did'nt have to take the uncessary risk and use cheaper plastic.

idk, back when i had my 20GB, id always keep change and keys in the other pocket... kindda common sense right? i mean, at the gocery you keep cookies in a different bag then say a gallon of milk... why? because crumbs dont taste as good as cookies. maybe this guy should get the money, afterall gotta feel bad for him since he obviously must have a shitty life with his lack of common sense.
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